Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The snow is melting here in Columbus! Today most lawns are visable, the first time green (or in our patchy, raggamuffin lawn's case - BROWN!) has been experienced in a long while. And it could be just my imagine, but I believe I have detected a noticable difference in bird-chirping in the morning. It's like Spring is trying SO hard to break... today Scott and I walked along the bike path near our home - and imagined doing it this summer with a huge stroller in front of us. WOW!

We had another ultra sound appointment today. We will continue to have them every two weeks to check on the size of the babies. Today's appointment went VERY well - they are each exactly 1 pound in weight. Their identical nature has the potential to cause one to get more nutrients than the other and thereby risk the health of the other - but so far, they are balancing out beautifully! The heart defect in Duncan looked the same - nothing to report on that front.

We are growing to love them more and more each day!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


A dear friend... in fact my pen-pal from 1st grade and blog expert (a label I give her!)... gently reminded me that we should probably update our blog with more regularity. But of course!!! A blog wouldn't be a blog without a running dialogue of important - or not so important - information/feelings/updates.

So here I am on this Tuesday evening, compromising the grading of papers to give more thoughts.

First, let me say that Duncan and Jackson are giving me quite a shake-up in recent days. We have graduated from the "fluttery" feelings everyone describes the initial baby movement to be... to the jolting kicks/punches of our twins proclaiming their place in my belly. Although there is a clear distinction to me - the pregnant one - I have yet to catch an external penetration for Scott to share in. Very soon, I have a feeling. Very soon. Until then, I think he is very jealous.

Secondly, I need to backtrack to our conversation with Dr. G, the man who will conduct the three surgeries on Baby Duncan's heart over the course of the first two years of his life. He walked into the room as a complete stranger, and two hours later, I wanted to hug and kiss him all over. How do you treat the individual who is going to save your child's life? It brings me to tears just thinking about how much he is going to mean to us.

Bottom line from our meeting - we are left feeling totally confident both in his expertise as a surgeon and nurturing nature as a caring individual. He has been responsible for 40 of these "hybrid" surgeries in his 6 years of conducting them (he offers a different, and in our opinion "better" alternative to the other 3-surgery series that has been used as the primary treatment for LHLS in the past 20-some-odd years... the main difference being that the BIG open heart surgery is saved for 4-6 months of age, rather than as an infant). He expressed that he knows each of these 40 kids personally and treats them as close to his own children as possible.

We are blessed to be living in Columbus and working with a nationally recognized surgeon such as he!

NOTE: Tomorrow is our next ultra sound... we'll let you know how it went!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Medical Side

The same ultrasound that revealed the gender and identical nature of our twins also informed us that one of our boys has a rare heart defect. Since this news, we have been researching and information-gathering like crazy. The timing of this discovery and the blizzardy snowfall worked as a great team, because Scott and I were both off work for two days and could faithfully process this information.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome is a very rare condition in which essentially one half of the heart is not working. Previous to two decades ago, the mortality rate of babies with this disorder was near 100%. We learned through a special visit to Children's Hospital on Tues (after the initial ultra sound on Monday) that treatment has become far more successful in recent years. We will be meeting Tuesday of this week with a surgeon here in Columbus, who will most likely preside over our baby's 3 surgeries (we have researched Cleveland Clinic, Philadelphia, L.A., and Detroit - but this guy here at Children's is top notch - WHAT A BLESSING!). You can read more about him at
We expect it will bring us great peace to hear from him in person and get a more grounded feel for what our experience will be like.

A nuts-and-bolts description of what will happen is this: The twin with the heart problem will immediately be taken to Riverside Hospital's ICU upon birth and stablized. From there, he will be transported to Children's. Scott and I (and the other twin going back and forth) will stay at Children's for about two weeks to be with Duncan (that is a temporary name possibility to replace the heartless title of "Baby A"). The first surgery happens during that time. Then, we take Duncan home and hopefully have a regular life until 4-6 months of age. Then, Duncan has his next and biggest open heart surgery. This is the most high-risk for his survival. There is 85% success in this surgery. Then, he lives a normal life until age 2, when he has his last surgery ultimately designed to reroute the blood from his heart to serve his body. We have been told that, aside from limitations to really vigorous physical activity (he probably won't be in the Olympics), he will be a very average boy.

As for the rest of the pregnancy itself, we will be setting up ultra sounds every two weeks and echo's probably monthly to monitor the growth and distribution of weight in both babies (regardless of the heart problem, the identical nature of the twins means there is higher risk for an inbalance in nutrients and amniotic fluid, so that is the reason for the frequent check-ins).

I have spoken with a couple mothers of children with this same disorder, and have received really uplifting messages from both: their kids are developing well and have survived the three surgeries - progressing with flying colors. We are sure there are stories on the other end of that spectrum, but we are not yet ready to hear them... for now, we need to be positive.

For more information about this heart condition click here.

A Taste of the Nursery

Wanna see the nursery? We are feeling rather proud about the room's transition this weekend. Scott "Daddy" and Mom "Grand-Jan" were the wall-painters, and we had a friend work on the furniture transformation. More pics to come, but here are a couple to satisfy curiosity for now!

Our First Post - short but sweet

Well, we finally did it. We are officially "bloggers!" Scott and I have strong intentions of using this blog to communicate the wild ride ahead - by this we mean pregnancy, childbirth and parenting... and I guess life in general too!

Identical twin boys! That's right - identical twin boys! We found this news out from our ultra sound on Monday, one week ago. The thought of having little Scotts running around is very exciting, and very scary... and let's not forget this gender discovery puts me in the household minority (thank goodness Lilly the kitty is a female, though!).

So we start our "Arthur Adventure" with this news... more to come soon!